That probably wasn’t a priority during the early, Survive Phase of your process. But as you began (or will begin) to Revive, creating a Bucket List could be an important, and valuable, exercise. Just the act of looking forward to a brighter future, and setting some goals within that future, could help you Thrive sooner. Even if you eventually only check off a few of the goals, you’ll still be so much better off.
To help “prime the pump” (a phrase Donald Trump coined just last week) for creating your list, here are some rundowns from a couple other folks who’ve gone through a Divorce.
Writing for Lifehack.org, Jillian Reese offers what I’d call a “starter list,” including such standards as: go skydiving, get a tattoo, and learn to play the guitar. Not particularly scintillating, but a decent collection to get you thinking.
Adriana Velez, writing on CafeMom, offers a more specific, and more exciting, list of 50 Things To Do When Your Marriage Ends. Kicking it off with “Buy a really good vibrator,” Velez includes: become a handyman, watch the movie “Heartburn,” and smoke a hookah. She also makes some really solid suggestions that can aid in Divorce recovery, including several that have been offered on this site in other posts. Among the notable:
Learn to say yes (to new things)
Learn to say no (which will establish limits and help keep you from being overwhelmed)
Learn to forgive
Date outside your type
Get a grip on your finances
So that’s a total of 70 ideas — some serious, some frivolous — to help you start making your own post divorce bucket list. What’s on yours? Please share in the comments below…
I did another interview with Silke Schwarzkopf of 2ndAct.tv — this time about Gray Divorce Stories. I hope you’ll take a look. And I encourage you to spend some time at 2ndAct.tv. There’s a lot of important content covering all aspects of being this age, including Health & Wellness, Love & Sex, Fitness & Fashion, and Purpose & Passion.
Susan Brown co-wrote a very influential academic paper about Divorce Over 50 entitled “The Gray Divorce Revolution: Rising Divorce among Middle-Aged and Older Adults, 1990-2-10.” You can read it here.
If you’re not into dry, dense documents that include phrases like “The present study also attends to heterogeneity in the divorce experience of today’s middle- aged and older adults by estimating divorce rates across sociodemographic subgroups and examining key correlates of divorce,” maybe you’d like to listen to Dr. Brown in this interview with NPR. (There’s also a transcript of the interview if you’d prefer to read it).
In the book, you’ll find 18 candid interviews in which other Divorced Over 50’s speak openly about their marriages, their divorces, and their recoveries.
If you’re going through a DO50, you’ll see that your feelings are not unique. You’ll be able to learn from the experiences of others — their successes and their failures. And you’ll see that many of them have made it through the difficulties and pain, and are now moving forward into their brighter future.
And if you’re Di-Curious, these stories can provide a wealth of information to help you make your huge decision: Will I be better off if I get out?
I recently did a series of interviews with Silke Schwarzkopf, the Executive Producer of 2ndAct.tv. Silke’s site contains a ton of videos that will be of tremendous interest to Divorced Over 50 users. I encourage you to explore 2ndAct.tv, and benefit from the important content you’ll find there.
In the videos offered here, we discuss such topics as the genesis of DivorcedOver50.com, how common Divorce is among our age group, and some of the warning signs that a DO50 may be coming up.
As parents, we all want to set good examples for our children. If, for instance, they see us treating everyone we encounter with respect, chances are good they’ll do the same. Personally, I’m always gratified when one of my sons orders by asking the waiter if he can “please have the filet mignon,” and then thanks him when it arrives (perhaps not as happy when the bill comes, but whatever…).
I’m sure all of us had hoped to model marriage-lasts-a-lifetime-behavior for our kids, too, but as we know, life doesn’t always work out as we expected. In my case, their mom and I went through a basically mutual, fairly amicable split after 27 years; though it was nice to show them how to have a civilized divorce, that still wasn’t the ideal.
There was, however, a positive to be gained from the negative. I believe going through my divorce gave me insight into why the marriage was what it was, and went where it went. I’ve come to more clearly comprehend the thoughts and choices I made, and the assumptions I held, concerning getting married. And I discovered that some of them were, shall we say, less than correct.
Going through a Divorce can be one of the most difficult experiences in life.
Even if you wanted your Divorce Over 50, it’s still a painful process, complete with anxiety, upset, and anger. And if you didn’t want it, it can be absolutely devastating.
But, as we say here all the time, a Divorce Over 50 may not be ideal, but it does give you a chance to hit the reset button, get back to being who you want to be, and move forward into a brighter future. And we’ve outlined three stages of a DO50 — Survive, Revive, then Thrive — and produced our free Roadmap to serve as a guide.
That’s the easy part; the hard part is actually moving forward. You don’t just start feeling better about yourself and your situation — you need to take action to create that better future.